Walking may not get the same glory as pumping iron or running a marathon, but it can be one of the easiest forms of exercise to start – and stick with for the long term. If you stay consistent, you can see health improvements from just three to four hours of walking each week. In addition to helping you get in shape, walking:
- Boosts bone health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, can increase your bone density, which may lower your risk of developing fractures or osteoporosis.
- Improves your mood. Walking, like many exercises, increases your production of endorphins, hormones that decrease stress levels and reduce anxiety and depression.
- Strengthens your heart. Your heart rate increases when you walk, and that lowers your resting heart rate. A lower resting heart rate may prevent heart disease or heart attack.
Walking alone? Now that days are shorter and you may find yourself walking after dark, follow this safety checklist:
- Wear bright-colored apparel. You will be more easily seen in low light.
- Pack your phone. Walking can be a time to disconnect, but have your cell phone within easy reach in case of an emergency.
- Share your route. Let a trusted family member or friend know where you will be walking and what time you’ll return.
- Stay alert and aware. If you use earbuds while you walk, keep music low so you can pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid noise-canceling headphones.
- Map out your path. Stay away from less-traveled areas, such as alleys or empty parking lots. Stick to familiar, well-lit streets in areas where you’re likely to encounter other people.
Live Better, Live Healthier
Archbold is dedicated to improving the overall health of our community. Live Better is an Archbold Medical Center-led collaborative of key community leaders and partners focused on improving the overall health in Thomas County with a specific focus on reducing obesity. Live Better hosts several events and programs throughout the year to get residents of our area motivated to make healthy changes. In addition, recipes and exercise tips can be found on the Live Better website.
Find the inspiration you need to Live Better at archbold.org/live-better